The Flinders University Art Museum and City Gallery are hosting a tribute to the 19th Century structure coined the ‘Crystal Palace’. The building showcased the Great Exhibition 1851 to promote the superiority of Britain over nature during the Industrial Revolution.
Curators Lisa Harms and Nic Brown are displaying new works produced over the past 12 months from nine Australian artists who have presented their unique post-colonial critique of the Great Exhibition 1851.
The works are produced in a thought provoking way which challenges what has been celebrated and what has changed since the time of the Crystal Palace. The contemporary pieces expand upon the notions of our interactions with nature and the perceived superiority over it. The use of metals, fabrics and fibres in the sculptures are particular stand outs with their engaging presence in all areas of the exhibition, including within the walls.
The purpose-built and temporary display features a plywood dividing wall running around and within the entire exhibit. Gaps are created within the wall to house several pieces and create a space where people can engage with each other from different sections of the exhibit.
Exhibition artists are: Morgan Allender, Troy-Anthony Baylis, Domenico de Clario, Siamak Fallah, Lisa Gorton, Julie Henderson, Brigid Noone, Lee Salomone and Sera Waters, presented ‘in conversation’ with objects from South Australian museums and archives.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
When: 27 July – 29 September
Where: Flinders University City Gallery, State Library of South Australia
Image: Joseph Nash, The Great Exhibition of 1851 1852, colour lithograph